What can start as heat stress can quickly become heat stroke, a life-threatening health condition. Knowing the signs of heat stress and taking action early can prevent a heat-related injury and even save a life.
“Heat warnings are active in many parts of the province. Albertans working outside, or indoors where there is no air conditioning, should take precautions against the heat. Employers also have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment and should be familiar with prevention strategies. Together, we can make sure everyone makes it home safe.”
~Christina Gray, Minister of Labour
The early signs of heat stress need immediate treatment. The first steps are drinking cool water to combat dehydration, and getting out of direct sun.
Watch for headache, dizziness, fatigue, heavy sweating, muscle cramps and changes to breathing and pulse rate. These symptoms can progress to heat stroke, which needs immediate medical attention.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to take all reasonable steps to protect the health, safety and welfare of their workers. Employers can:
Parts of the province are also experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke. When conditions are smoky, employers can:
Workers can call Occupational Health and Safety at 1-866-415-8690 if they feel their workplace is unhealthy or unsafe due to hot weather or smoky conditions.
More information on local air quality conditions and health risks is available on Environment Canada’s website.